No Smoking Day highlights danger to pets

The annual awareness campaign by the NHS focuses this year on damage to animals.

If you happen to know somebody who smokes cigarettes – or if you smoke them yourself – it’s a quirk to deal with. From the lingering smell to damaged gums and teeth, the inevitable effects can be frightful and that isn’t even to mention the severe health effects of the unpleasant habit.


National No Smoking Day began in the United Kingdom in 1984 and has since been celebrated annually on the second Wednesday in March. The campaign, which was set up by the NHS, urges people every year to stop smoking or to at least cut down. A changing theme is also portrayed every year which relates to the ways in which smoking affects you and those around you.

This year No Smoking Day wants you to understand the serious harm that smoking can cause not only to you, but also to your beloved pets. Sparking up around your pets is classified as second-hand smoking and causes just as much harm to them as it does humans, PDSA has warned.

Cases have seen asthma and chronic coughing in animals as a subject of second hand smoke, and it isn’t just cats and dogs who are endangered by the terrible trait – birds and small animals including rabbits and guinea pigs are all victims to second-hand smoking.

Image Credit: Jess McFadyen


The NHS are supplying those who wish to pack it in with the resources that they need to quit once and for all. An accompanying social media campaign brought forward by the NHS and ASH Scotland, called #TellUsYourWay, is also encouraging smokers to share their stories of how they curbed their addiction.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland is calling out to all smokers this year,

“NHS Quit Your Way services give you the best chance to stop smoking, and they’ll work with you to find your way to quit. Everybody’s different – whether it’s chewing gum, group support, switching to e-cigarettes or something else, you can do it.

“Use our hashtag #TellUsYourWay to post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and make a statement about how you quit smoking or how you plan to. We want to hear your stories and pictures of how you quit – we’re looking to share your experiences and encourage others to quit their way.

“Stopping smoking isn’t always easy, but the good news is that there’s more free support available than ever. You can pop into a pharmacy for local, expert advice, or call Quit Your Way Scotland seven days a week for proven help to quit.”

Image Credit Jess McFadyen


Judith McFadden, a local dog owner, said,

“As far as I’m concerned it is as bad as smoking around your children. It really breaks my heart when you see owners smoking in their car with their dog.”

If you want to quit, call Quit Your Way Scotland on 0800 84 84 84 for free advice and help. Lines are open from 8am to 10pm seven days a week.

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Beast from the East no match for determined NHS Scotland staff

Although the Beast from the East caused havoc for many across Scotland, a new report has shown that NHS staff were not harmed from treating almost nine out of 10 patients in target time.

A red weather warning was issued in parts of Scotland when icy blasts hit the country with snow; but that didn’t stop NHS Scotland from seeing – and either admitting, transferring and discharging A&E patients within the targeted time of four hours.

NHS Sign

Image credit: Getty Images

Although this still falls short of the Scottish Government’s targets of having 95% of patients seen within this time, Health Secretary, Shona Robison, was full of praise for the “tremendous effort” put in by the hospital staff.

She said:

“In the face of the red weather warning, NHS staff worked tirelessly to ensure A&E departments continued to run with almost nine out of 10 patients admitted, discharged or transferred within the four-hour target.

“This was a tremendous effort, and thanks to staff across the NHS who have experienced their busiest winter in a decade and continue to go the extra mile to give people the care they need.”

red weather warning

Red weather Warning is issued for Central Scotland as the country is hit by the Beast from the East. Feb 28 2018 Image Credit: SWNS

Despite the extreme snowfall, the performance of A&E staff on A&E waiting times increased from the previous week, when a lesser 87.5% of cases were dealt with in four hours.

Ethel Hardie, a Community Psychiatric Nurse in the Aberdeenshire area, said that she is amazed by how her team stepped up during the bad weather.

She said:

“Most community teams stepped in to help each other during these times, often staying additional hours past their finishing times, or people who live close to hospital coming in on days off to cover.

“It never ceases to amaze me despite the poor wages, nurses remain dedicated to their patients with little thanks.”

However, despite the efforts put in by NHS staff, some nurses felt that they were being forced to travel in unsafe conditions to get to work.

The community nurse added:

“I think it’s a disgrace that we have to use our annual leave if we are unable to get to work due to weather conditions.

“In this day and age we should be able to use this as paper work day, or work from another facility like teachers do.

“Hours logged could be monitored via computers.”

Even though staff struggled to get to and from work, the Health Secretary remained positive about the performance of Scotland’s health services.

She said:

“Hospitals saw incredible pressures this week with staff struggling to get in or out of work and patients unable to get home, and this level of disruption will take time to recover.

“However, our A&E departments are still the best performing in the UK, as they have been for the past three years, thanks to our record investment and increased levels of staffing into our hospitals.”

Karen Mitchell, a District Nurse also from the Aberdeenshire are, said she believes that the commitment from NHS staff was the sole factor in keeping NHS Scotland running efficiently.

She stated:

“The beast from the east caused havoc for the NHS across the UK.

“With hospital appointments and operations cancelled, the resourcefulness and resilience of staff ensured patients were cared for throughout.

Staff from Glasgow Royal Infirmary spent the night at the hospital to make sure there was staff there at all times | Image credit: Evening Times

“Community teams were faced with dangerous conditions in remote areas to reach patients – sometimes on foot –  who were vulnerable to ensure patient safety was maintained.

“The team spirit demonstrated commitment to patient care, with as little disruption as possible.

“This proves our NHS is invaluable, and the hard work and commitment of staff is what keeps it running despite pay freezes and staff shortages.”

Staff nurse Claire Woods, who works at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, agreed that NHS staff went above and beyond to provide care for their patients.

“Some staff had to stay the night at the hospital to ensure they were able to be at work the next day, with staff also staying hours after their shifts ended until the next staff member arrived to assure that patient safety was maintained”, she said.

Members of the public took to Twitter to express their support for Scotland’s NHS.  Twitter user @ticgran expressed there thanks to the NHS through a tweet saying: “Well done NHS Scotland. I love the care at home which enable me to stay at home and get amazing treatment.”

Twitter user @ticgran complimented the NHS’s care | Image credit: Twitter user @ticgran

Graham Pattie also took to Twitter to share his praise for the NHS adding: “NHS Scotland. Still out-performing the rest of the UK.”

Twitter user Graham Pattie shares his pride in NHS Scotland on Twitter | Image credit: Twitter user @GrahamP58

A spokesperson for the British Medical Association Scotland (BMA) also expressed their gratitude for the “extraordinary lengths” that the NHS staff went to in order to care for their patients.

They stated:

“Doctors and other NHS staff went to extraordinary lengths to provide care to their patients throughout the disruption caused by the recent extreme weather. Some staff slept in hospitals to continue looking after their patients, while others made long and difficult journeys to reach their place of work.

“The lengths that NHS staff went to shows the dedication they have to their jobs and to their patients and should be applauded.”

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